With a swift kick to posteriors of the ""revisionists,"" Montaigne pins the blame for the Mexican-American War of 1846 on Santa Anna and the Mexicans. The loud-mouthed braggarts were spoiling for a fight; Manifest Destiny had nothing to do with it. Even Polk, generally seen as a plotter and provocateur, is exonerated. Montaigne, to do him justice, has examined in detail the internal politics of Mexico, dominated during this period by unstable and bellicose military juntas. Though it's hardly a novel interpretation, he paints Stephen Austin as a loyal Mexican citizen who did not want Texas to separate from Mexico. But confronted with ""despotism,"" what could the Texans do? Later, if the Mexican militarists had been willing to face reality and admit that Texas was irretrievably lost, the war would never have happened. Significantly Montaigne stops his narrative short of any discussion of the Treaty of Guadeloupe-Hidalgo under which the US exacted vast territorial concessions from Mexico, including areas which today are New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and California--an opportunistic land grab out of all proportion to the originally disputed territory. The (narrow) focus is on the diplomatic exchanges which preceded the outbreak of hostilities and neither US economic interests nor the jingoism of war hawks in this country are considered. The besieged defenders of the Alamo wouldn't have told it much different.